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Next Wave Program: Launching Aquatic CareersFrequently Asked Questions

VIew below all the questions for job seekers and Industry employers. 

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Aquatics & Recreation Victoria (ARV) is a not-for-profit member-based peak association for the Victorian Aquatics and Recreation industry.  

ARV is an organisation providing and coordinating support, professional development, advice, training, advocacy, research, and networking opportunities. We service and support those who plan, build, own, fund, operate or service aquatics and recreation facilities across Victoria. This includes Aquatic and Recreation providers, fitness providers, leisure providers, stadium providers, suppliers, and traders. 

ARV’s strategic priorities include public health prevention, community health and wellbeing, increased community activity participation, increased sector capacity and capability, industry prosperity and workforce development and a successful, progressive, connected, and impactful Aquatics & Recreation industry. 

 ARV’s project partners are: 

  • Jobs Victoria - The Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions. 

They will work in communities to find individuals looking for work that meet the priority cohort, provide pre-employment training and support to jobseekers. They will also screen and evaluated candidates for employment. 

Eligibility and Conditions

The organisation/company must be one of the following: 

  • An aquatic and recreation centre; 

  • An outdoor pool; 

  • A Victorian council with an aquatic facility; or 

  • A learn to swim school directly operating in public, private or school facilities in Victoria. 


The organisation must be operating in Victoria and be one of the following legal entities:  

  • A body corporate under the Local Government Act 2020 (Vic); 

  • Registered as an incorporated association under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic); 

  • Registered as a company limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth); 

  • Registered as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth); 

  • A private company; 

  • A fixed unit trust; or 

  • A sole trader. 


The organisation must:  

  • Provide the Jobseeker with an employment contract for a minimum 12-month period at 19 hours per week.  

  • Agrees to assist the Jobseeker in finding an appropriate Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to conduct training for the Jobseeker’s qualification. 

  • Provide a copy of valid public liability insurance to a value appropriate of the program and funding.   

  • Hold insurance to meet statutory obligations (eg WorkCover). 

  • Must implement and maintain policies relating to the Child Safe Standards in accordance with the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic). 

If you can provide other work at 19 hours a week during the winter season, then you are eligible. This can be at another facility or role within the organisation. 

No. There is no fee associated with registering as an Employer or as a Jobseeker.

The priority cohort is outlined by Jobs Victoria

The priority jobseekers are:

  • Women over 45
  • Young people aged 18--25
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Victorians
  • Victorians living with disability
  • People who are long-term unemployed
  • People seeking asylum and refugees
  • Newly arrived migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds
  • Veterans
  • People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who are experiencing barriers to employment
  • Public and social housing tenants
  • Jobseekers registered with a Jobs Victoria Partner.

On application acceptance, all Next Wave employees must complete an Employee Consent Form which is a binding legal document and informs which priority cohort they best identify with. If, for any reason, they are found to not belong to the selected priority cohort all funding, in relation to them, will be required to be repaid back to ARV.

Next Wave Program funding will not be approved to any candidates who do not fall into the priority cohort.

Jobseekers are sourced from multiple recruitment efforts including 

Employers can refer potential jobseekers to the ARV website to apply for Next Wave Program if they fall into the priority cohort.  

Yes, there is no limit on how many Next Wave employees you can employ. Approvals are made on application order basis, until all 300 program spots are exhausted.

Yes, only if they were employed casually after June 29th 2022, and are not already trained in the qualification they wish to be trained in, or are currently casual and working less than 19 hours per week.

For example, a Swim Teacher who satisfies the Next Wave criteria, could apply to the program to be trained to work as a Lifeguard, or a Customer Service Officer who satisfies the Next Wave criteria could apply to the program to be trained and to work as a Swim Teacher; so long as they are put on a permanent part-time contract for more than 19 hours.


Casual contracts do not offer a minimum hours. This means that they are ‘at risk of no long term employment’ as defined by government.

A jobseeker can join the program through one of three channels so long as they meet one of the priority cohort requirements 

If you already have a job offer from an employee, you can use any of these processes to apply.

You will be advised if you have been successful within 10 working days.

Qualifications and Training

ARV will place the Next Wave employee with an organisation/company who is wanting to hire a jobseeker.

From there, the organisation/company must find a training program for them to complete and ensure the Next Wave employee completes the training.  

No, the primary work the Next Wave employee does must be in their qualified role.

It is permitted that part of the 19 hours per week can be used working in a different function across the organisation/company, as long as their primary role remains the same as the Next Wave Employee trained for as a part of the Next Wave Program (i.e. If they are primarily employed/trained as a swim teacher, majority of their hours must be in this role).

Next Wave employees must be offered a minimum is for 19 hours of work per week for 12 months, providing additional work each week will not make the contract length any shorter.

Providing additional hours of work is permissible and encouraged.

Yes, see the list below for preferred RTOs 

Other RTOs will be considered on the basis they meet National Recognised Training standards. They will be required to undergo verification by ARV before their applications will be considered.

An initial wage allowance covers approximately 38 hours of pay as per the Fitness Industry Award. No additional wage will be covered after this, including In-Service. Most employees will not require 38 hours of training before working independently.

No, pre-medicals are not covered. If these are required, the costs are to be covered by the employer or employee.

Next Wave Employees

If the Next Wave employee is unable to fulfil their duties as set out in their contract the employer, at their discretion, is entitled to let them go if they wish to do so, as per the facilities conditions of employment and standards.

The Next Wave employee can quit their job if they choose to do so. They would be expected to carry out their terms regarding notice periods as per their signed contract with the employer. The employer must then notify ARV via email immediately: 


No further program funding will be provided to the organisation/company in relation to that Next Wave employee. The only reason it would be a requirement for program monies to be returned to ARV is when pre-provided funding for onboarding costs such as uniform allowance, pre-employment checks, Working with Children Check are no longer required for the Next Wave employee. 


In the event of a Next Wave employee not progressing with continued training and employment the remaining funds are not transferable.


This is for new jobseekers only. This applies to VICSWIM Workforce funding, Swimjobs, SRV Youth Aquatic Accreditation Program and Chisholm funding.


Yes, the Next Wave employee can be trained for multiple roles covered by the program funding provided the employer has a signed job offer for this role/department area.

I.e. Someone is hired as a Pool Lifeguard but has Swim Teacher potential. They can sign an internal employer contract as a swim teacher and the employer can provide an additional quote for reimbursement to Next Wave for approval. This is covered in the further PD and opportunities allowance.

Qualifications and Employment Pre-requisite  
Police Check Up to $45.00  
Working With Children Check (WWCC) Up to $125.00 
Qualifications - Swimming Teacher Up to $545.00
Qualifications - Infants Swimming Teacher Up to $470.00  
Qualifications – Access and Inclusion Swimming Teacher Up to $435.00  
Qualifications – Pool Lifeguard Up to $485.00
Qualifications – Duty Manager Up to $645.00
Qualifications – Customer Service Officer Up to $150.00


Onboarding and Training  
Uniform Subsidy – All Swim Teachers Up to $150.00
Uniform Subsidy – Pool Lifeguard Up to $175.00
Uniform Subsidy – Duty Manager Up to $300.00
Uniform Subsidy – Customer Service Officer Up to $175.00
Training Wage – All Swim teachers Up to $1,800.00
Training Wage – Pool Lifeguards Up to $1,900.00
Training Wage – Duty Managers Up to $3,100.00
Training Wage – Customer Service Officer Up to $1,350.00 
Support – Internal Peer Support Mentor Up to $585.00
ARV PD opportunities including training and conference Up to $1 ,900.00
Further Training and upskilling Up to $2,150.00


Upskilling opportunities examples include ARV events, additional qualifications relevant to facility roles. Essentially anything that adds value to Next Wave employee’s development and upskilling in the industry.  

This can include; 

  • An additional Swim teaching extension qualification 
  • Cert III in Aquatics and Community Recreation SIS31015 
  • Cert III in Fitness SIS40215> become a gym or group fitness instructor 
  • Certificate IV in Fitness SIS30315 
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment TAE40116 > Become Internal facility course trainer. 
  • Diploma of Sport and Recreation Management’ 
  • Diploma of Sport *development and Coaching) 
  • Bronze/Silver/Gold accredited swim coach – SCTA 
  • Les Mills Fitness Instructor + Release Fees (can include GELS qual if Cert III in fitness is not held) 
  • Pilates Reformer Instructor 
  • Yoga Instructor 
  • Aqua Wets Instructor (currently under RTO review) 

Community Surf Lifesaving Certificate 

Surf / Beach Bronze Medallion 

Inland Waterways Life Saving Certificate 

The employer can use the employer and employee checklists to ensure they complete and obtain all evidence criteria of onboarding and training. They can then use the online form to apply for reimbursement by providing supporting documents such as tax receipts and qualifications.

Submissions will be reviewed within 10 working days and paid on a fortnightly schedule.

Yes, as long as the employee is hired in line with Next Wave employment conditions.

Funding reimbursement is on a fortnightly pay cycle, following the 10 day application review and processing time.

The training Wage subsidy covers training, inductions, and course attendance to the total of 38hours (paid at industry award). This wage subsidy can also cover costs associated with, time away from employment to undertake training and future in-service trainings, as most candidates will not require a full 38 hours to be trained. 

Training hours may include Swim teacher shadow training hours, lifeguard shadows, Duty manager Plant room training, customer service member management and POS training.

No, there is no travel or accommodation reimbursement for course or employment.

Next Wave Employees can utilise partners and have ongoing support. The mentor budget covers internal mentoring. Internal mentoring is recommended, and Next Wave Program can assist with funds if desired.

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